NELP VIII in Jan/Feb09: Petroleum Secy

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New Delhi, Sept 24 (UNI) The procedure for eighth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP VIII) is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.

''The procedure for NELP VIII will begin sometimes in January-Febuary in 2009...whatever suggestions have come during the last seven rounds of NELP will be considered and may be included in the procedure for the upcoming round,'' Petroleum Secretary RS pandey told reporters here.

According to reports, NELP VIII may be conducted under an open acreage system that allows companies to identify the blocks or areas they want to explore instead of bidding for pre-assigned blocks offered by the government.

The new system will be launched once the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) put in place a National Data Repository that will house geological information of all basins and fields in the country.

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